Review copy was received from Author. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
White as Frost by Anthea Sharp
Narrator: Amy Landon
Series: Darkwood Trilogy #1
Published by Blackstone Audiobooks on May 4, 2021
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Length: 11 hours, 35 minutes
Amazon, Audible, Barnes & Noble, Apple
Two sisters. One enchanted forest. And a hidden destiny that threatens them both…
I didn't want to come live in the castle beside the Darkwood, and I especially didn't want to become enemies with my stepsister Neeve. But how could I help it? She has magic, while I'm an ordinary girl. She's the heir to the throne, while I'm an annoying afterthought since my mother married the king. And Neeve has the ability to master her emotions while I'm a red-haired disaster.
She also has Thorne, the handsome guardian of the forest, who tutors her in the powers that are her heritage. Even though I know he could never be mine, I can't keep my heart from dreaming of the impossible.
But everything changes, the day I uncover the secrets the castle has been hiding…
A fantasy fairy-tale weaving elements of Snow White & Rose Red with romance, magic, and dangerous secrets that will destroy a kingdom.
White as Frost is the first book in The Darkwood trilogy which feels a little like a retelling of Snow White in some ways mixed in with magic and the fae. This is young adult and I say that because when I first started reading I thought Rose was a little older. In my head she was seventeen, but the story begins when Rose is thirteen and just on the cusp of discovering a new world.
Rose is moved into a castle in a new kingdom when her mother marries a king. His daughter, Neeve, is not happy about getting a new stepsister and the last thing she wants, is to be charged with hanging out with her new step sister. Neeve has secrets, lots of them and it is hard to keep any of them with Rose sneaking around trying to figure them all out.
The Castle butts up right next to a magical wood full of interesting creatures, some pretty significant dangers and a beautiful fae man, Thorn, who is charged with the keeping of the forest. The girls become friends over time as Rose proves she is worthy of learning some of Neeve and Thorn’s secrets. They might both have feelings for the keeper of the Darkwood, but that isn’t going to get in the way of them becoming true friends and sisters.
The beginning of the book is a little slow as Rose tries hard to find magic within herself and we discover a few of the secrets of the land and its people. I really liked the time with the trio in the wood as they explore magic and forest. White as Frost does what any good first book to a series is supposed to do and sets up the world, the new dangers on the horizon and the challenges our young heroes will face. Rose can be a bit stubborn and obstinate at times but she is young and testing a few of the boundaries of her world; she is still a very likable character.
I enjoyed this first book. It is a little slower than some other YA I’ve read but the story encompasses a few years at the Palace and goes through a lot of development of both Rose and Neeve. I really loved the intertwining of both the human world and the fae one. I can’t wait to see more of the fae in future books as that was definitely a big plus for me.
Overall, this is a really good first book for those who like YA, Fantasy and Fae books with a splash of a retelling.
Amy Landon was a good fit for this story. She encompassed the young voices of Rose and Neeve well. The narration added to the fairytale feel of the retelling. I was able to listen to this at my usual 1.5x speed.
Listen to a clip: HERE
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Gorgeous cover and interesting concept. I have enjoyed Amy Landon. I’m glad you liked it so well.
That cover really is beautiful.
It’s been a bit since I read YA fantasy, but your description of this one with the two stepsisters’ friendship and the magical forest sounds great.
It will be interesting to see where the relationship between the two step sisters goes eventually. Will they stay friends or end up on opposing sides at some point. At this time I’m really not sure